Successful District Court Severity Appeals for Drug Possession Charges


Two young men and one young woman who pleaded ‘guilty’ in Deniliquin Local Court to numerous charges of ‘drug possession’ have had their convictions overturned on appeal to Downing Centre District Court.

The charges arose after police applied for a Drug Dog Detection Warrant for the detection of drugs in cars travelling through NSW towards the Con/Fest Music Festival in the A.C.T.

Police pulled over our client’s car which contained two passengers, and the drug detection dog indicated the presence of drugs.

The driver agreed to a search and police located 5.5 grams of liquid LSD, one sugar cube of LSD, 4 MDMA (‘ecstacy’) tablets and 2 grams of cannabis.

All three occupants participated in police interviews and admitted that they possessed the drugs for personal use.

Two of them were charged with 2 counts of ‘drug possession‘ for the ecstacy and LSD. The third was additionally charged with cannabis possession.

All were later convicted of all charges in Deniliquin Local Court and given criminal convictions and fines.

Our firm did not represent them in the Local Court.

One of them later contacted our firm and we immediately lodged an appeal against the severity of his sentences.

The remaining two contacted our firm shortly thereafter and we also lodged appeals for them.

For strategic reasons, we arranged for all of the cases to be transferred to Downing Centre District Court.

Despite the number of different drugs and multiple charges, our Senior Criminal Lawyer Mitchell Cavanagh persuaded the Judge to overturn all of the convictions by ordering ‘section 10 good behaviour bonds’.

This means that all of our clients remain conviction-free. The fines were also overturned.

During the Appeal, Mr Cavanagh directed His Honour to a binding decision of the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal which states that a court may deal with a person without conviction despite the presence of substantial quantities of drugs and numerous charges.

That decision also says that:

1. A ‘section 10’ (non-conviction) can even be awarded in cases of drug supply, including cases where there are 20 or more ecstacy tablets,

2. A good behaviour bond without conviction is a significant penalty in itself, and

3. Whether or not a conviction is recorded makes little difference to whether the penalty is adequate or inadequate.

Once again, our firm’s superior legal knowledge, thorough preparation and persuasive presentation has made a significant difference to result achieved.